Turkish towels have been incredibly useful on my trip around-the-world. They are thin, light, and only get softer over time. The thin, machine-washable material is also very fast drying and compact for storage. The color and design combinations with the classic tassels make for the most elegant bath towels to top it off. Ever since I discovered these handy accessories I couldn't figure out why more people didn't use them in the U.S.
Turkish towels, traditionally called Pestemals, are made primarily in the Pammukkale region of Turkey. The material ranges from cotton, to bamboo, to linen with the former two being the most common. Bamboo is the softest material that feels more like a blanket than a towel while cotton Turkish towels feel more like a standard beach towel. Either fabric can be used for anything, however, and typically are hand-made.
I highly recommend taking one of these multi-purpose towels on any trip. Check out these 9 uses for the Turkish Towel!
I love these Turkish Towels from Amazon because they are relatively cheap and have unique color designs. Not the ned of the world if you lose it on a trip! Pink is my fave :)
1. Bath Or Beach Towel
This is the most obvious as it is, a towel. But when you are traveling, some hostels do not provide bath towels and few places provide a good beach towel.
2. Scarf Or Head Wrap
Even when traveling to warm places you might encounter an unexpected cold front. Some places indoors are often overly air conditioned so having a little warm something never hurts.
I also like to use my turkish towel as a scarf through the airport so that I have it as a blanket on the plane. In the Middle East it also can be used to cover your head as a woman.
On a plane, car, train, or outside at a park, Turkish towels make great blankets because they are so soft and cozy. I remember sneaking up on the roof of our hotel in Valparaiso to watch the sunrise and using my towel as a blanket. The bamboo towels are particularly nice throw blankets on couches too.
4. Barrier Between Bare Legs And A Public Seat
I cringe at the feeling of the back of my legs touching a public seat, whether it is on an airplane or at a restaurant. If I am in a little dress or shorts I always throw my T towel down.
5. Lumbar Support When Seated
This sounds like one of those crazy filler points that no one would ever do but I swear by it. Kyle and I have been flying so much on this trip that our low backs ache all the time. Airplane seats are the worst design for your back - rounding it forward and collapsing the chest. We discovered the art of rolling up the Turkish towel and placing it right behind the low back for some lumbar support. It opens the chest and engages the core. This was a game changer for me. It also works with a water bottle :)
6. Sarong Or Beach Cover Up
If you really want to get minimal, throw on a bathing suit and use your towel as a cover up for a liberating beach day without any clutter. All you need is a good book! Use the towel to lay on when you are not wearing it.
Rolling up your Turkish towel also provides a perfect little pillow on planes.
8. Laundry Bag
I have no room in my suitcase to spare for a legit laundry bag so I lay my Turkish towel on the floor, throw all my clothes on top, then grab the corners of the towel to make a little bag. Then I wash everything and bring the laundry back in the same way. It sounds ridiculous but whatever it works!
9. Picnic Blanket Or Table Cloth
Turkish towels come in all sizes and, because they are so thin, the massive ones are still very portable. Two people can comfortably lay on a larger Turkish towel or dine together at a park somewhere faraway.